Two Schools in Woodland Close for Norovirus Clean Up

WOODLAND -- The gates are open but the sign says it all -- no school Friday or Monday.

It will be a four-day weekend for students at Tafoya and Dingle elementary schools while the staff clears up the norovirus.

"It's just so crazy how big it got so fast," parent Lucinda Mendoza said.

Mendoza knows all too well about the norovirus and its effect on Tafoya Elementary School.

"One of my two that goes here did get sick, was out of school for three days, came back and has been OK ever since then," Mendoza said.

Since the beginning of the month, the norovirus has rampantly spread through several Woodland schools, sickening more than 3,300 students and staff. Now, four weeks later, the Woodland Joint Unified School District will close Tafoya and Dingle elementary schools on Friday and take advantage of the holiday weekend to thoroughly clean the classrooms.

"Working with the health department, we've been continually talking about, 'OK, when is that point or what would that point look like to close schools?' And at this point, with about a litter over 30 percent of students cumulatively affected at each of those sites, the health department made the recommendation," said Callie Lutz with the Woodland Joint Unified School District.

The school district has also applied other measures to try to slow down the virus from spreading.

"We continue to encourage hand washing, and we've been reducing student interaction so maybe there's not as much group activities," Lutz said.

"They're doing their best, they don't want kids to miss school," said parent Muhammad Arif.

"If they believe they need to close it down, that's what needs to happen," parent Cristina Jimenez said.

Jimenez was planning to take her child on a field trip to UC Davis on Friday, but it's canceled now.

"I even took the day," Jimenez said.

Parents are hoping the virus finally gets expelled from their kids' schools.

"I'm happy they are taking steps," Jimenez said.

"You know I think if it's coming from the health department, I think it's a good thing," Mendoza said.